When Ted Leonsis sold his first company for $60 million at the age of 27, he thought he had achieved it all. But his happiness proved elusive. Today he manages three professional sports teams and has founded a film company that supports the production of documentaries. He says that truly successful businesses, i.e. ones where owners and employees feel more deeply fulfilled, must contribute to the community in which they exist. This means looking for a higher purpose than profit.
What’s the Big Idea?
Leonsis calls his idea “the double-bottom line”. “When developed correctly, a double-bottom line creates a happy and what I believe to be a more successful organization,” he says. “A company should strive to make profits, but it also should be in pursuit of a high calling or some larger purpose. It also provides an outlet for employees to feel that they are helping to make a difference in their community or in support of a particular cause.” Leonsis himself no longer considers engaging in a business that does not have a strong community element.